At the beginning of the series, rumors surfaced that the franchise might be set to move back to Winnipeg. While it’s merely speculation, it’s been enough to distract the Coyotes, who have played poorly in the series.

Now the Phoenix Coyotes are battling to survive in Glendale and in the playoffs.

They aren’t coming back from a 3-0 deficit, which means all that is left for them in Game 4 is pride. That might not be enough against a Detroit Red Wings team that could really use the rest.

The Detroit Red Wings can win because…:

…why can’t they win? 

They’ve played the first three games of this NHL Playoff series without their leading scorer, Henrik Zetterberg, they were supposed to have the short end of the urgency stick in Game 3, and they were supposed to have the inferior goaltender. None of that has mattered as the Red Wings have been the superior team in every facet of the game. 

Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has allowed four goals per game in each game this series and he’s been outplayed by Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard, who has exceeded expectations. Bryzgalov has now given up 47 goals in his last 14 games against Detroit.

The Coyotes even got their special teams going in the last two games of the series and that still hasn’t helped. They are short on answers and they can barely focus on the task at hand.

The Red Wings are a veteran team that knows the value of rest in the playoffs. While the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks failed to earn themselves a playoff siesta, the Red Wings will take full advantage of the opportunity in front of them.

The Phoenix Coyotes can win because…:

They will be emotionally charged up. Not that it’s always a good thing to be so fired up, but Wednesday should be the day that the Coyotes let out their pent-up frustration.

They haven’t been far off in this series. After all, they have lost by two, one and two in each respective game and while they have yet to play a complete 60 minutes in any one game, they have played long stretches where they have outworked the Red Wings.

In Game 1, the Coyotes couldn’t get their power play going. In Game 2, it finally woke up but their penalty kill let them down. In Game 3, their power play and penalty kill were stellar but their five-on-five play was awful. They can win and they can outplay the Red Wings, but they just have to put it all together in one game.

If the Coyotes can avoid a bad start – they allowed all four goals in Game 3 in the first 2:41 of each period – they’ll have a shot to live another day.

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

It just doesn’t look good for the Coyotes. Since Kyle Turris scored the first goal of this series, they haven’t scored another five-on-five goal. Beyond that, the Coyotes most consistent line throughout the regular season (Lee Stempniak, Vernon Fiddler and Taylor Pyatt) has been missing in action throughout the first three games while posting a minus-six with no points.

Bryzgalov has been frail between the pipes all series long and there’s little reason to believe that will change. Furthermore, there’s no home-ice advantage as the Red Wings were a quality road team this season and the Coyotes didn’t even have a sellout at Jobing.com Arena for Game 3.

Throw in the fact that the Coyotes are likely to be without defenseman Derek Morris again and the fact that the Red Wings forwards have simply overwhelmed the Coyotes blue line, and Wednesday’s affair should be the last for the Coyotes in the 2010-11 season.

Pick: Red Wings